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Glucocorticoid concentrations, corticosteroid binding protein characteristics and reproduction performance of sows and gilts subjected to applied stress during mid-gestation



Glucocorticoid concentrations, corticosteroid binding protein characteristics and reproduction performance of sows and gilts subjected to applied stress during mid-gestation



Journal of Animal Science 50(5): 897-905



Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of applied heat (greater than or equal to 28 C) and crowding (less than or equal to .9 m2 floor space/animal) stress for 50 days during mid-gestation on glucocorticoid concentrations, corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) characteristics and reproductive performance of 20 sows (Exp. 1) and 23 gilts (Exp. 2). Blood as collected via puncture of the anterior vena cava on days -1 and 0 before initiation of treatment and on days 1, 2, 12, 13, 48, 29 and 1, 5, 9 +/- l, 19 +/- 1, 50, 63 +/- 3, 90 +/- 1 after initiation of treatment for sows and gilts. respectively. Plasma glucocorticoids and CBG characteristics were determined by competitive protein binding techniques. Overall mean glucocorticoid concentrations for eight sows and 12 gilts subjected to stress were lower (P less than .05) than those of control animals, CBG binding capacities (CBC) were lower (P less than .05) in treated sows and gilts bled on days 12 and 9 +/- 1 after initiation of stress, respectively. Overall mean CBC and affinity (Ka) of cortisol to bind to the CBG molecule were lowered (P less than .05) in stressed gilts. Other than a reduction (P less than .05) in gestation length observed in stressed crossbred sows, reproductive performance was not affected by stress. When infrequent blood samplings are employed, measurement of CBC may serve as a more precise indicator of a physiological stress response than glucocorticoid concentration.

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Accession: 043199994

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PMID: 7390944


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